Last April after working on her album for almost two years, Ria Boss shared “Remember” with the world. A celebration of the kaleidoscope that is giving and receiving love: “Remember” pushes the limits of simply using R&B to address romantic love.
Although the album does express romantic love in the soulfully soothing ballads fans recognize her for, Ria Boss also makes space for grief, self-love and the vulnerability it takes to give yourself the space to begin again on ‘Remember’.
For Ria Boss, the process of creating this album and working with her collaborators became a source of immense love.
“The whole family that came together to work on the project with me, while I was probably going through some of the hardest moments of my life, is what taught me, love,” She shared.
“The love that I think I thrive the best with and on is community love, community care, community, aftercare, all of that. I think that we do ourselves a huge disservice when we put a lot of expectations on one person to do everything for us. This taught me that community is actually love. Community is the place where love can be found.” said Ria Boss.
Listening to the album, the importance of love and Ria Boss’s personal definition of self-love shine through.
“I think that love is the one thing that keeps the world running, we just don’t realize it,” she shared, “And it’s the lack thereof, where you have issues”
“Love is just like seeing people as I see myself like and that for me, is the whole spectrum of love,” said Ria Boss.
From reminiscing a lover’s touch on ‘Somali Rose’ to gassing one’s self on ‘Damn’ and coming to terms with the effort in relationships on ‘Real Love’, ‘Remember takes listeners on both a sonic and emotional journey.
Her 11th project, ‘Remember’ feels like listening to a full live show. The entire project was live recorded with real instruments and a full band. And Ria Boss had a full reason for this.
Love is just like seeing people as I see myself like and that for me,
is the whole spectrum of love
“A lot of my very heavy influences are really big live musicians like D’Angelo, Erykah Badu, Lauryn Hill, Angelique Kidjo, Miriam Makeba, Nina Simone, and all these really amazing live performers. I realized that I wanted to challenge myself to create a project that would feel like it was also taken from this era of neo-soul, jazz, funk, and r&b live instrumentation. I wanted to prove to myself that I can do this especially if these are the artists I’m inspired by,” Ria Boss said.
Discussing the current African R&B Landscape, Ria shared her excitement about the range of creative expression that currently exists in the soundscape.
“What I like about the landscape is you can find so many different types of artists within that genre right now,” she gleamed, “You’ve got Yinka Bernie or Dami Oniru. These are artists I love, love, love. I’m really fortunate to have these artists as peers. There’s more focus on African music now, not just Afrobeats, but on the creativity that’s coming out of Africans on the continent”
The emotions that poured from her words as she spoke about love were unmissable, but it was her final words that struck a cord.
“My advice to people out there is this: life is long, but it’s also short. Try as much as possible to put love into everything you do. It starts with the way you treat yourself, and the way you think about yourself. Make sure that you’re honouring yourself and you’re keeping the right folks around you. And also making sure that you’re able to be yourself.”